Process servers and private investigators routinely used GPS tracking devices to perform their jobs but all that changed in 2015 when Florida enacted Florida Statute 934.425 “Installation of tracking devices or tracking applications; exceptions; penalties.”
A person may not knowingly install a tracking device or tracking application on another person’s property without the other person’s consent. A person who violates this statute commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. However, a person’s consent is presumed to be revoked under certain circumstances. Here are the do’s and don’ts of GPS tracking in Florida.
DON'TS - WHEN YOU MAY NOT USE A GPS TRACKING DEVICE:
CONSENTING/UNMARRIED PERSON: The consenting person and the person to whom consent was given are lawfully married and one person files a petition for dissolution of marriage from the other; or
FILING OF AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION: The consenting person or the person to whom consent was given files an injunction for protection against the other person pursuant to s. 741.30, s. 741.315, s. 784.046, or s. 784.0485.
DO'S - WHEN YOU MAY USE GPS TRACKING DEVICE:
LAW ENFORCEMENT: Used by a law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10, or any local, state, federal, or military law enforcement agency, as part of a criminal investigation.
PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN F MINOR CHILD: A parent or legal guardian of a minor child who installs a tracking device or tracking application on the minor child’s property if:
1. The parents or legal guardians are lawfully married to each other and are not separated or otherwise living apart, and either parent or legal guardian consents to the installation of the tracking device or tracking application;
2. The parent or legal guardian is the sole surviving parent or legal guardian of the minor child;
3. The parent or legal guardian has sole custody of the minor child; or
4. The parents or legal guardians are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart and both consent to the installation of the tracking device or tracking application.
CAREGIVER OF ELDERLY DISABLED PERSON: A caregiver of an elderly person or disabled adult if the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s treating physician certifies that the installation of a tracking device or tracking application onto the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s property is necessary to ensure the safety of the elderly person or disabled adult.
BUSINESS FOR LEGITIMATE BUSINESS PURPOSE: A person acting in good faith on behalf of a business entity for a legitimate business purpose. This paragraph does not apply to a person engaged in private investigation, as defined in s. 493.6101, on behalf of another person unless such activities would otherwise be exempt under this subsection if performed by the person engaging the private investigator.
OWNER/LESSEE OF THEIR OWN VEHICLE: An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle that installs, or directs the installation of, a tracking device or tracking application on such vehicle during the period of ownership or lease, provided that:
1. The tracking device or tracking application is removed before the vehicle’s title is transferred or the vehicle’s lease expires;
2. The new owner of the vehicle, in the case of a sale, or the lessor of the vehicle, in the case of an expired lease, consents in writing to the non-removal of the tracking device or tracking application; or
3. The owner of the vehicle at the time of the installation of the tracking device or tracking application was the original manufacturer of the vehicle.